No Health Dangers with Underground Lines

RETA has provided significant evidence that burying high voltage power lines essentially eliminates the negative health impacts of overhead lines – plus eliminates many other negative impacts of overhead lines.

Dufferin Wind Power (DWP) has recently released a report, which confirms that underground lines pose no health risk, as part of their plan to bury a portion of their proposed 230-kilovolt power line from the DWP wind farm to the Orangeville substation in southern Ontario (Orangeville Citizen). Township of Amaranth residents had expressed concerns about the well-known health effects of high voltage lines.

The Citizen reports that Amaranth Mayor Don MacIver “favoured underground lines because of Amaranth’s experience with overhead ones. Alluding to the massive array of towering poles on Amaranth’s Eighth Line, he said overhead had proven to be a ‘disaster’ apart from the visual impacts, with ice falling from the lines onto vehicles.”

The reason underground high voltage power lines essentially pose no health risk is because the soil overburden totally shields the electric field component of the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) normally emanating from overhead lines. The magnetic field component of the EMFs is significantly reduced through phase cancellation because underground lines can be placed close together, as compared to the much greater distance required between hanging overhead lines to account for the sway in the lines due to wind. As well, burying power lines totally eliminates the negative health impacts of the corona effect, which can be experienced several kilometres downwind of overhead lines.

RETA has measured EMFs under overhead high voltage lines and over buried lines. For example, the EMF levels right above a buried 240kV line are about one-half those at ground level underneath an overhead 240kV line. And, the EMF level tapers off to zero about 5 metres from the buried line whereas EMF levels remain a health risk even when you move several hundred metres away from the centre-line of an overhead line.

Underground high voltage power lines have so many benefits when compared to above-ground lines, and they are cheaper when you combine capital, maintenance and transmission loss costs over the life of a line.

~ by RETA on November 15, 2012.

 
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